In 1723, Antonio Vivaldi composed The Four Seasons. This set of four violin concertos is known as one of the finest examples of program music, music designed to tell a story or depict nature, ever written. “Winter”, performed here by Mari Silje Samuelsen, attempts to musically sketch the experience of winter.
Each concerto composed by Vivaldi was accompanied by a sonnet. Below you can find the accompanying sonnet for the winter concerto.
Winter – Concerto in f-minor
Allegro non molto
Shivering, frozen mid the frosty snow in biting, stinging winds;
running to and fro to stamp one’s icy feet, teeth chattering in the bitter chill.
To rest contentedly beside the hearth, while those outside are drenched by pouring rain.
We tread the icy path slowly and cautiously, for fear of tripping and falling.
Then turn abruptly, slip, crash on the ground and, rising, hasten on across the ice lest it cracks up.
We feel the chill north winds coarse through the home despite the locked and bolted doors…
this is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights.